Prague's new 'At the Farter' bus stop inspired by backfiring Velorex of Czech film fame

Actor and ‘Vrchní, prchni!’ author Zdeněk Svěrák showed up to christen the new stop connecting Vršovice to Žižkov and Vinohrady.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 23.11.2021 13:43 (updated on 23.11.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

A new bus stop, U Prdlavky, which roughly translates as “At the Farter,” has been unveiled in Žižkov. Named in honor of a character and car from the 1981 film “Run, Waiter, Run!” (Vrchní, prchni!), written by Zdeněk Svěrák, the new stop is one seven that extends bus route 101 so it can connect Vršovice to Žižkov and Vinohrady. 

The author turned up at the unveiling of the new stop in a replica costume from the film, with a three-wheeled canvas-covered Velorex car, similar to the one that was used in a famous scene shot at the exact location.

The new stop is one seven that extends bus route 101 so it can connect Vršovice to Žižkov and Vinohrady. The new stops, which will start operation at the beginning of December, extend the route from the Slovinska stop in Vršovice to náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad and then to down into lower Žižkov to the Viktoria Žižkov stadium, where a new multi-use housing, office, and shopping complex is being built. It is also close to the Prague University of Economics and Business (VŠE).

The name of the existing Husinecká tram stop there will be changed to Viktoria Žižkov to align with the new bus stop name. The change is also in line with other stops near stadiums, such as Sparta, Slavia, Bohemians, and Juliska. The new bus stops will go into service at the start of December.

“Vrchní, prchni!” tells the tale of a man who goes to fancy restaurants and poses as a waiter so he can steal money from unsuspecting customers. The waiter, named Dalibor Vrána, was played by Josef Abrhám. Svěrák had a minor role, appearing at one point in a green wool hat and matching outfit.

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Vrána is upset that people he went to school with are now very successful, while he is poor and has to rely on a run-down canvas car. The car earns him the nickname “Prdlavka,” which was also a somewhat derisive name for the vehicle. It is a reference to the car’s noisy and smelly backfire.

“Waiting passengers can be expected to smile at the name and remember the character of Dalibor Vrána, a bookseller who lived here and who owned something between a motorcycle and a car, the once-famous Velorex. And that is why his neighbors nicknamed him ‘Prdlavka,’” Svěrák said at the unveiling.

“When the smiles of thousands of Praguers add up, it seems to me like a decent dose of good feeling,” Svěrák said at the unveiling.

Zdeněk Svěrák (right) and Josef Abrhám in ' Vrchní, prchni!' a few meters from the new bus stop. (Photo: NFA)
Zdeněk Svěrák (right) and Josef Abrhám in ' Vrchní, prchni!' a few meters from the new bus stop. (Photo: NFA)

Svěrák is best-known internationally as the star of the Oscar-winning film “Kolja,” which he also wrote. He is also one of the people behind the fictitious inventor Jára Cimrman, whose exploits have filled several plays.

Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr, responsible for transportation was a little more pragmatic in his praise for the route extension.

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“A completely new connection between Vršovice, Vinohrady, and Žižkov will be created. So far, this has been completely lacking in the densely populated city districts in the wider center of Prague. Line 101 will improve the accessibility of public transport, especially for less mobile Praguers, parents with baby carriages, and seniors, especially in the hilly Žižkov,” said.

Still, he did make a nod to the film. “At the same time, the new U Prdlavky stop will be in a place where until now the public transport stop has not been anywhere nearby. Its name is inspired by the Czech classic ‘Vrchní prchni!’” he said.

“Passengers will be able to shorten their time at the stop, for example by wondering whether the wipers of bus 101 are wiping and the windshield washers are spraying,” he said, remembering the car’s comic malfunctions in the film.

Prague 3 Deputy Mayor Ondřej Rut said that the district had long sought to have a connection linking náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad to lower Žižkov. “The extended line 101 significantly shortens our distances and also brings us closer to the Vršovice area. The connection of bus 101 to the new pedestrian tunnel to the main railway station is also attractive and will also serve students of VŠE,” he said.

Jiří Vodrážka, head of operations at the Prague Public Transit Company (DPP), said that bus service in the area ended in the 1990s, when Žižkov was seen as an undesirable area.

“All this is a thing of the past, Žižkov is currently a sought-after residential area that needs a connection to the backbone metro and tram network, which the significant extension of bus line 101 will ensure with the possibility of changing to the metro and tram lines 11 and 13 at náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad or on tram lines 5, 9, 15, 26 at the Viktoria Žižkov stop,” he said.

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